Communication Philosophy

Our Mission

Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) is entrusted, empowered, and funded to provide and enhance the educational and life growth experiences in an optimal environment for children and students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Our Communication Philosophy

RSD recognizes the right of its students to have full and ongoing access to language and communication, both incidental and planned.  Optimal access to all communication is vital to our students’ academic and social development.  American Sign Language (ASL) and English are the languages used at RSD for communication and instruction.

RSD is fully committed to ensuring that our students reach their maximum potential in ASL and English, while also supporting their individual communication needs.  Recognizing that ASL and English are unique, distinct separations and clear boundaries between both languages are not only ideal but crucial and necessary also.  To that end, RSD will serve as a language-rich environment for our deaf and hard of hearing students.

Operating Principles

  1. RSD is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural, and inclusive school.
  2. Making optimal use of their cultural capital, students will apply their knowledge, experiences, and connections in order to succeed in life.
  3. Individual Education Plan requirements for language, communication, and speech will be met through each student's area of strength (i.e., American Sign Language, Printed English or Spoken English).
  4. Students are expected to gain mastery of English and other content areas required by New York State Board of Regents.
  5. RSD will continue to develop and utilize curriculum maps in order to effectively plan for rigorous, robust, and vibrant instruction for students. The New York State Common Core Learning Standards will be the backbone of all instruction at RSD.
  6. Students are expected to become involved with the world through cutting-edge technology.
  7. Students are expected to contribute to the safe and supportive environment at RSD by keeping the school free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying.

Revised June 2014

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